Kaunas University of Technology has implemented Up2U National platform in cooperation with Lithuanian Academic and Research Network LITNET. Initial infrastructure was deployed and offered to Lithuanian schools in summer of 2018. Unique modifications to original Up2U solution were made by introducing multi-tenancy to Moodle virtual learning environment – a core component of Up2U platform. This allowed offering a dedicated Moodle environment to every school that expressed an interest in using Up2U Next Generation Digital Learning Environment. About 60 schools have joined the initial offer. Some of them have joined with the intent to try out popular virtual learning environment, others migrated their existing Moodle environments to Up2U infrastructure.
To support schools in this adoption a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program for teachers was proposed by the team of Up2U pedagogical work package. Qualification improvement for teachers is implemented through accredited teacher training institutions in Lithuania, so it was decided to register Lithuanian Up2U CPD Module 1 (M1) at Kaunas Region Education Centre that has this kind of accreditation. The first iteration of CPD M1 was delivered late 2018 to 15 teachers in face to face mode at a computer lab. Experience gained and gathered feedback were used to develop 30 hours online CPD M1. This online program was registered at KTU Education Competence Centre that is also accredited as a teachers training institution. Initial advertisement of online CPD was purposefully targeted at two different groups: 1st – teachers from schools that has already joined national U2U platform by aiming to engage to use Up2U services that are already available for them and 2nd – active teachers in different communities on social networks by aiming to attract teachers from new schools and motivate schools to join Up2U infrastructure.
Online CPD M1 became quite a success in Lithuania. It was delivered in 3 iterations (Winter, Spring and Fall 2019) and was joined by 1012 teachers from 464 schools in total. With an overall completion rate of ~57%, there were 574 teachers who successfully graduated this program and created their own online courses.
The certificates award ceremony was organised at the end of each iteration and was attended by teachers living nearby, while others received their certificates by post.
National Up2U infrastructure was already gaining momentum and was activated for more than 150 schools with over 20K registered users when coordinated pilots with students have started within CPD Module 2 on mid of December 2019. 90 teachers out of 253 enrolled has successfully finished CPD M2 in February 2020. Full piloting of Up2U infrastructure was performed in 62 schools and involved 1087 students (ones who filled pre- and post- questionnaires). Focus group interview with 12 selected teachers was conducted at the end of February.
Analysis still needs to be finalized but it is clear that implementation of Up2U platform and CPD traininghas boosted innovations in many Lithuanian schools. There are already more than 200 instances of Up2U Moodle activated for Schools, Education support institutions, National Competitions, Olympiads. Numbers indicating their usage are quite impressive: >39K registered users, >4K online courses, over 1K forums with >10K forum posts, >11K assignments with 248K students submitted files, 8916 quizzes with >100K quiz questions and >91K quiz attempts, >1,5K H5P interactive objects, 306 – Databases with 1905 entries, 294 – Wikies, 174 – Virtual programming Lab objects, etc.
And finally – National Up2U infrastructure is proposed to the Lithuanian Ministry of Education, Science and Sports as a platform capable to provide online learning services to all Lithuanian schools in case of mass quarantine due to Coronavirus Pandemic. Promotional webinar for all Lithuanian schools is planned with the aim to present best practices from national pilots and propose an action plan for quick adoption of online learning with the help of Up2U platform.